Barcelona invested heavily in their squad last summer, bringing in several stars to the tune of €157m in order to bring immediate success. Manager Xavi Hernandez is all too aware of the consequences of failure.
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While the loss of Lionel Messi two summers ago, the dereliction of squad management from Josep Maria Bartomeu, and the low ebb of confidence that Ronald Koeman left are all factors that require long-term solutions, football waits for no manager. According to Sport, Xavi knows that if he does not deliver titles this season – specifically La Liga – he will be out the door.
While there have been ups and downs, the elimination from this year’s Champions League at the group stages was the first time that Xavi has come under proper scrutiny and heavy pressure.
Xavi was provided with more than he could have hoped for in the summer, including that heavy spend, a clinical striker in Robert Lewandowski, and seven total signings. The only things he did not get were Bernardo Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Having been provided with those means though, results are to be expected. It will be something of a shock if Xavi does end up getting the sack. President Joan Laporta turned to him in a moment of desperation, and without any other clear candidates that espouse the ‘Barcelona style’, Xavi’s failure would bring about a questioning of faith for the club.
His presence was supposed to be the re-establishment of a method that was to be relied upon. Anything other than success is will be a dramatic psychological blow for club still in rehabilitation after some deep wounds.